Thought I’d share a few thoughts I’ve been having recently on the theme of living a creative life, in the hope that they’ll be helpful.
Here we go…
One: throw your stone in the pond and walk away
What I mean by this is, don’t worry about watching out for ripples. It doesn’t matter if people like what you create or not: if it’s in you, you’ve got to get it out there!
I heard the author Annie F. Downs say that she never reads her amazon reviews, because she asks herself this question: would reading them spur her on to write more books or to walk away and never be brave enough to try again? The latter, for sure.
She lets her publisher read them on her behalf, so anything valuable is passed on and considered.
Some people will like what you make; others won’t. And that’s okay.
Two: Be you!
Did you ever see that Will.i.am video he did with the Sesame Street gang? It’s all about being exactly who you’ve been made to be.
It helped me through quite a crisis at one point in my life, when I was really wobbling over accepting myself as I was.
God seemed to say through it, “I made you to be you: now go get on with doing that.”
In our creativity we need to be authentically us and let whatever is in there out and into the world.
Three: don’t box creativity
There are loads of different ways to create… you could re-organise a room or take yourself on a photo walk.
You could make a memo board look pretty or create a cute collage: it’s all about flexing those creative muscles and it all counts.
Four: use what you have and just go for it
We sometimes decide to hold off on a creative project until we have just the right supplies or it feels like the perfect moment.
I’m a big believer in working with what’s there, even if your project ends up looking completely different from what was in your head!
Five: prioritise a daily playtime
We often mean to get crafty, but then life gets in the way.
It’s such an important, restorative activity that we need to make sure our crafting doesn’t fall to the bottom of the list.
You are worth it! Plan in that daily time and make sure it happens, even if you have to leave a room half hoovered.
Six: leave your creative work when it starts to feel like work
I suspect we don’t create too well under pressure or when we’re worn out, so my advice to anyone in a creative slump, is to walk away from it for a bit.
Either take a complete break, or find some other creative activity to get stuck into: like glueing an old belt to a plant pot, for example: ha!
Seven: find inspiration, but then stop looking
I’m convinced that we can reach a point where we’re so busy looking at what everyone else is doing, that we forget what we want to make ourselves.
Sometimes it’s the best thing ever to scraplift a fellow crafter (see above!), but it’s also very easy to look at super-stylish projects, or ones that have clearly taken hours and think, “Why even bother trying? I can’t do that.”
Click off Pinterest and just make whatever’s in you to be made next, however simple or unimpressive it may be.
Eight: dare to do things differently
Did you guys watch Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing?
Faye and Giovanni did the most quirky, unusual and crazy dance ever – it was like nothing that had ever been on the show before – but my goodness: wasn’t it incredible?
So dare to be different in your work: it can be like a breath of fresh air!
Nine: make it meaningful and emotionally effective
If your creative sessions leave you feeling better than when you started, you’re on the right lines!
If it feels like another job to do – akin to organising a photo album – you might need to switch up how you’re working a little, so that it actually benefits you emotionally.
Ten: make each session a pamper time
I know I say it a lot, but if you can really make your creative times a lovely relaxing time, you’re much more likely to enjoy it and really benefit.
Think of your senses: nice lighting, perhaps some aromatherapy oils, a gentle podcast and maybe your favourite drink… all of these little things combine to make the experience a real treat and something we look forward to everyday.